Giving the Third Sector the visibility it deserves!
The Third Sector Impact project (TSI) held its final conference in Brussels on 9 November, bringing together 80 representatives of national statistical agencies, third sector and social economy networks working at local, regional, national and EU level, as well as European and national policy makers ad researchers. Improving the visibility of the sector emerged as key demand and challenge that requires multipe stakeholders working together. Fundamental to this end is the capacity of the third sector itself to articulate its own counter-narrative that centres the public debate on the distinctive traits and values of the sector, based on the participation, self-expression and self-organization of citizens. Equally important is that statistical agencies gather data on non-profit and social economy activity - a task supported by the fact that TSI's definition on the third sector will be included in the new edition of the UN Handbook on Third, or Social Economy (TSE), Institutions and Household Volunteer Activity. National governments that must implement supporting policies, and it is the combined advocacy power of third sector, researchers and committed statisticians who must hold politicians accountable.